Federal Bureau of Investigation's Foreign Language Translation Program   [open pdf - 100MB]

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) ability to translate foreign language material is critical to the FBI counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigations. Without accurate and timely translations, the FBI's ability to effectively investigate terrorist and criminal enterprises that communicate in a foreign language is significantly hampered. The FBI's Language Services Section (LSS) is responsible for overseeing the FBI's Foreign Language Program (FLP), including managing the FBI's translation efforts and the linguists who translate into English the vast amounts of foreign language material that the FBI collects. The LSS is also responsible for collecting and reporting data on the FBI's collection and review of material that is entirely in English. In fiscal year (FY) 2008 alone, the FBI collected 878,383 hours of foreign language and English only audio material, 1,610,091 pages of text, and 28,795,212 electronic files. In 2004 and 2005, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (DIG) completed audits of the FBI's foreign language translation operations. The 2004 audit found that the FBI had significant backlogs of unreviewed audio material awaiting translation that had been collected in its highest priority cases. Additionally, we found weaknesses within the FBI's FLP that hindered the FBI's ability to review and translate the counterterrorism and counterintelligence audio material it collected. In addition, the FBI did not consistently adhere to its standards for reviewing the work of its linguists."

Report Number:
Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General, Audit Report 10-02
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
United States Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General: http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/
Media Type:
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Listed on November 4, 2009 [Critical Releases]